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Winter skin care requires a special approach. At this time of year, the skin is exposed to many more harmful factors than in spring, autumn and even summer.
Learn the 8 most important rules to keep our skin healthy and cared for in winter.
Why does our skin need special care in winter?
In winter, the skin is exposed to extreme weather conditions. The cold, often frosty air outside, the very warm, dry air inside, snow or cold rain, the sun, which is very low at this time of year - all this has an effect on our skin. At this time of year, even combination or oily skin tends to be dry, which in turn leads to a reduction in sebum production. Sebum is one of the most important elements of the hydrolipidic mantle, which protects the skin from harmful factors and maintains proper moisture levels.
In winter, the skin has to deal with another difficult factor, namely poor air quality. At this time of year, smog and other air pollutants are particularly harmful to the skin as these fine particles settle on the skin and penetrate deeper into it. This also damages the natural hydrolipid barrier, making the skin more vulnerable to free radicals.
What we can do to mitigate the effects of negative factors is to support the skin with proper care and nutrition. Here are some of the most important rules.
Rule 1: Use cosmetics that are appropriate for the season.
Not everyone has to follow this rule. It is often the case that products we use all year round also work well in winter. There is no reason to change anything if your skin is still moist and firm and does not dry out or become rough. Nevertheless, it is advisable to take extra care of your skin during winter sports. This is important simply because the skin is exposed to stronger cold, frost and wind when skiing or running. Cover yourself with a cream that forms a natural protective layer.
If you notice your skin becoming dry, flaky and dull, it is a sign that it is lacking moisture. Cosmetics that bind water in the epidermis and prevent its evaporation should be included.
In winter, avoid factors that can dry out the skin, such as long, warm baths and cosmetics that contain substances that can dry out the skin, such as strong detergents and alcohols.
Make-up also requires a different preparation of the skin at this time of year than, for example, in summer. Again, beware of drying cosmetics, such as strong mattifying bases or loose powders. Replace them with mineral powders or mousse foundation. When preparing your skin for winter make-up, avoid water-based products, especially if your skin is not oily. Instead, opt for nourishing creams with a heavier texture.
Rule 2: Maintain your skin's natural moisture levels
Maintaining the right moisture levels is crucial for healthy skin in winter when it is constantly exposed to dryness. Remember, it's not just heated, warm rooms we spend time in that are dry, but cold, frosty air too. Let's pay attention to whether our cosmetics contain moisturising agents such as vegetable glycerine, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, allantoin, which increase the water content in the horny layer. This strengthens the natural hydrolipid layer.
Rule 3: Ensure adequate hydration
To keep the skin hydrated, it is also important to keep the body hydrated, i.e. drink at least 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day (regardless of other liquids such as tea), and ensure that the air in the rooms we stay in is sufficiently humidified. We should not overheat them and also ensure that they are constantly humidified. Simply hang a ceramic water container on the radiator or place a damp towel on it. It's also worth investing in professional electric humidifiers, especially if you have very demanding skin.
Rule 4: Use sunscreen
Contrary to appearances, the sun can have the same effect in winter as it does in summer. It's just that we don't expose as much of our bodies and aren't outdoors as much as we are in summer. Also, when you are outside in the snow, for example doing winter sports, you are exposing your skin to the sun's rays reflected off the surface of the snow, which can intensely tan your skin.
Let's not forget that UVA radiation, which penetrates through clouds and even windows regardless of the season, accelerates ageing, contributes to the destruction of collagen fibres in the skin and the formation of free radicals, thus increasing the likelihood of cancer.
For this reason, sunscreens should be part of our daily skin care routine not only in summer, but also in winter and actually all year round.
Rule 5: Exfoliate and regenerate regularly
Regularly exfoliating the skin is an easy way to speed up the natural renewal process. This is especially important in winter. Exfoliate at least once a week (not only for the face, but also for the whole body) and then ensure vigorous regeneration by applying a mask that instantly revitalises the skin - moisturising, nourishing and firming.
Rule 6: Consider professional skin treatments
Winter is the perfect time to thoroughly regenerate the skin. During this time, all the treatments we don't do in summer (because of sun exposure) are recommended, such as:
removal of moles
If we have been thinking about undergoing any of these treatments, we should do it now. Peels, microdermabrasion and mesotherapy, among others, are great ways to get rid of any kind of hyperpigmentation, for example after sunbathing in the summer.
Rule 7: Problem skin? Take special care in winter
Winter is a difficult time for the skin in general, but it especially affects those who struggle with skin blemishes on a daily basis. At this time of year, owners of sensitive, dryness-prone, capillary breakage-prone or acne-prone skin not only struggle with their daily problems, but also with all the other factors mentioned above. This means that in such cases, the skin often needs extra support and the use of special cosmetics.
In the case of problematic skin, the following substances in particular should be used in cosmetics:
Substances that strengthen and seal the blood vessel walls, e.g. vitamin K, niacin, vitamin C.
moisturisers and humectants, e.g. rhubarb root extract, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, plant oils
Soothing, calming and redness-reducing ingredients, e.g. shea butter, provitamin B5 (d-panthenol), rice bran oil, myrtle rose extract
Antibacterial substances, e.g. Centella asiatica extract, niacinamide, oat beta-glucan.
Rule 8: The skin on the face and hands has priority
The skin of the entire body needs support in winter, but the skin on the face and hands is particularly vulnerable at this time of year. Other parts of the body are covered so they are less affected, but again it is worth paying attention to the clothes we wear, for example. Avoid synthetic fabrics, wear clothes made of natural, airy, breathable fabrics. This prevents overheating and excessive sweating, which also limits drying of the skin.
As for the face and hands, they are usually the only exposed parts of the body in winter and therefore need much more support. Therefore, we should take more time to care for them and pay special attention to moisturising, regenerating and protecting them, following the principles described above. Don't forget to wear gloves and be sure to apply hand cream regularly. Remember that hands, which are washed or disinfected several times a day, are even more prone to dryness than facial skin. They therefore need to be regularly moisturised, greased and the hydrolipid layer strengthened. We should always have hand cream handy.